More Square Facts
"I'll take that kid up there to block..."
One of the youngest squares ever, Adam Rich, seen here with Eight is Enough co-star Susan Richardson
    From the beginning, The Hollywood Squares tried to reach out to younger audiences with younger celebrites, like Sally Field (The Flying Nun) and Burt Ward (Batman).  But it was Dennis the Menace himself, Jay North, who broke the under-18 barrier on the show.  North was 16 when he occupied a square the week of October 30, 1967, apparently to promote his NBC adventure series Maya.  Minor Squares would appear sporadically until the late 1970s, when younger celebrities became a way of life.
The biggest joint appearance ever of underaged squares came the week of May 14, 1979.  That week's guests included the youngest square ever, Adam Rich of Eight is Enough;  the second youngest ever, Quinn Cummings of Family; and the previous youngest-square record-holder, Melissa Gilbert of Little House on the Prairie. Dana Plato of Diff'rent Strokes, Phillip McKeon of Alice and Shawn Stevens and Lory Walsh (sharing a square) rounded out the juvenile cast for that week, with Paul Lynde, George Gobel and K.C. without his Sunshine Band the only adults.  Too bad the target audience for this bunch mostly didn't see it, since school wouldn't let out for much of the country for a couple more weeks. 
Adam Rich may hold the record as the youngest star to appear in his own right (he had a specific project to plug), but apparently there was an even younger Square.  A recently rediscovered TV Guide listing for August 1, 1979 indicates a "rotating squares" week, in which Little House star Melissa Gilbert appeared with her siblings.  One of them was her brother Jonathan and the other was her four year old sister Sara.  Of course, Sara Gilbert would later decide to go into show business on her own and is now remembered for her much later roles in the TV series Roseanne and How I Met Your Mother and movies like "Poison Ivy."   This might very well be Sara's first network TV appearance, as she was not professionally acting at this point.

Young Squares:

Jay North (16, 1967) (
Maya)
Desi Arnaz, Jr. (17, 1970) (
Here's Lucy and part of Dino, Desi and Billy pop group, son of Lucille Ball)
Mackenzie Phillips (16, 1976) (
One Day at a Time)
Tanya Tucker (17, 1976) (country singer)
Valerie Bertinelli (17, 1977) (
One Day at a Time)
Kristy McNichol (15, 1977) (
Family)
Lance Kerwin (15, 1977) (
James at 15)
Melissa Gilbert (13, 1978) (
Little House on the Prairie)
Scott Baio (17, 1978) (
Happy Days)
Erin Moran (17, 1979) (
Happy Days)
Philip McKeon (14, 1979) (
Alice)
Adam Rich (10, 1979) (
Eight is Enough)
Dana Plato (14, 1979) (
Diff'rent Strokes)
Quinn Cummings (11, 1979) (
Family)
Melissa Sue Anderson (16, 1979) (
Little House on the Prairie)
Jonathan Gilbert (11, 1979) (
Little House on the Prairie)
Sara Gilbert (4, 1979) (sister of Melissa)
Todd Bridges (14, 1980) (
Diff'rent Strokes)
Julie Piekarski (17, 1980) (
The Facts of Life)

Unknown: the age Lory Walsh; she shared a square with Shawn Stevens the week of May 14, 1979, at a time when they played 17-year-old twins on a shortlived ABC series,
The Mackenzies of Paradise Cove ; Stevens was barely 21 at the time

Well okay...so who was the oldest?

So far the oldest age for a square we've found is 80.  That's how old Groucho Marx and Miss Gloria Swanson were when they made their appearances.  Other 70-odd squares included Jimmy Durante (not really a square, more of a walk-on), Will Geer, Arthur Godfrey, Helen Hayes, Arthur Treacher and Henny Youngman.
Valerie Bertinelli brings her curds and whey to a Storybook week in the 1970s
"I want to be alone...with Paul."

Who would have ever figured that the woman behind the painted veil, Greta Garbo, the one who famously declared "I want to be alone" and abrupty dropped out of Hollywood for decades until her death...who knew that intensely private life of hers would include devotedly watching The Hollywood Squares?  Apparently it was one of her favorite shows.  She actually said so to Peter Marshall's sister, Joanne Dru, and even mailed Paul Lynde a fan letter in care of NBC Burbank.

Square Crossovers


It's been said many times that more regulars from Laugh-In appeared on The Hollywood Squares than any other show.  The exceptions: hosts Dan Rowan and Dick Martin were two (because Peter Marshall hated Rowan and that left a rather sticky situation if Martin had ever been invited), and a third was Goldie Hawn (perhaps because she left Laugh-In after such a short time).  There were a few other semi-regulars from Laugh-In who never ventured across the hall in Burbank.  But Laugh-In is not unique among prime-time series whose casts were frequently seen in the grid. There were others, sometimes all at once (Dallas, Eight is Enough, Barney Miller) and sometimes over a period of time (Happy Days). Below is only a partial list (I'm certainly open to more suggestions, episodic or variety only please) of contemporary shows in which a majority of the original cast appeared on The Hollywood Squares during the Marshall years.
Alice
All in the Family
Angie
Barney Miller
Batman
Battlestar Galactica
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Bob Newhart Show
The Carol Burnett Show*
Chico and the Man
Dan August
Diff'rent Strokes
Eight is Enough
Emergency!
Fantasy Island
Fernwood 2-Night
Flying High
(entire cast)
Get Smart
(entire cast)
The Girl With Something Extra
Happy Days
Here's Lucy*
I Dream of Jeannie
Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters 
(entire cast)
The Jonathan Winters Show
(1960s; two  regulars were Paul Lynde and Charley     Weaver!)
The Incredible Hulk
Laugh-In
The Lawyers
Little House on the Prairie
Lou Grant
The Love Boat
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Mannix
(entire cast)
The Mary Tyler Moore Show*
M*A*S*H
Maude
McMillan & Wife
(entire core cast)
Mission: Impossible
The Mod Squad
The Monkees
Mothers-in-Law
The New Dick Van Dyke Show
The New Doctors
(entire cast)
One Day at a Time
(entire original core cast)
The Quest (both regulars in one square!)
Real People
Rhoda
Room 222
Sanford and Son
The Six Million Dollar Man
Soap
Three's Company
Time Tunnel
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson*
Vega$
The Wild Wild West
(both cast members)
Wonder Woman
Special mention: American Bandstand, Cannon, Columbo, Dick Clark's Live Wednesday, Dinah!, The Flip Wilson Show, The Jerry Lewis Show, The Mike Douglas Show, Run For Your Life, all of which were basically one-person shows whose one star appeared on the Marshall Squares.

* Denotes a show whose title star never appeared on the Marshall
Squares but most or nearly all of their regulars did. 
Squares who hosted their own game shows
Willie Aames (
Krypton Factor)
Don Adams (
The Don Adams Screen Test)
Steve Allen (
I've Got a Secret)
Morey Amsterdam (
Battle of the Ages)
Roger Barkley (
Bedtime Stories)
Milton Berle (
Jackpot Bowling)
John Byner (
Relatively Speaking)
Dick Clark (
The $10,000 Pyramid)
Bob Clayton (
Concentration)
Cathy Lee Crosby (
Conquer Fort Boyard)
Bill Cullen (
The $25,000 Pyramid)
John Davidson (
The New Hollywood Squares)
Hugh Downs (
Concentration)
Ron Ely (
Face the Music)
Dick Enberg (
Baffle)
Bob Eubanks (
The Newlywed Game)
Art Fleming (
Jeopardy!)
Tennessee Ernie Ford (
College of Musical Knowledge)
Dick Gautier (
It's Your Bet)
Merv Griffin (
Play Your Hunch)
Buddy Hackett (
You Bet Your Life)
Monty Hall (
Let's Make a Deal)
Pat Harrington (
Stump the Stars)
Art James (
Pay Cards!)
Dennis James (
The New Price is Right)
Arte Johnson (
Knockout)
Jay Johnson (
Celebrity Charades)
Gabe Kaplan (
NFL Trivia Game)
Jack Kelly (
Sale of the Century)
Tom Kennedy (
Split Second)
Vicki Lawrence (
Win, Lose or Draw)
Gypsy Rose Lee (
Think Fast)
Robert Q. Lewis (pilot only) (Masquerade Party)
Art Linkletter (
People are Funny)
Al Lohman, Jr. (
Namedroppers)
Wink Martindale (
Tic Tac Dough)
Groucho Marx (
You Bet Your Life)
Jim McKrell (
Celebrity Sweepstakes)
Ed McMahon (
Concentration)
Garry Moore (
I've Got a Secret)
Jan Murray (
Treasure Hunt)
Tom Poston (
Split Personality)
Vincent Price (
E.S.P.)
Sarah Purcell (
The Better Sex)
Gene Rayburn (
Match Game '73)
Charles Nelson Reilly (
Sweethearts)
Carl Reiner (
The Celebrity Game)
Soupy Sales (
Junior Almost Anything Goes)
William Shatner (
Show Me the Money)
Lynn Swann (
To Tell the Truth)
Rip Taylor (
The $1.98 Beauty Show)
Alex Trebek (
Jeopardy!)
Dick Van Dyke (
Laugh Line)
Lyle Waggoner (
It's Your Bet)
Jimmie Walker (
Matchmaker)
Betty White (
Just Men)
Flip Wilson (
People are Funny)
Paul Winchell (
Runaround)
Chuck Woolery (
Wheel of Fortune)
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Catwoman, Vietnam and the Squares

Eartha Kitt, a memorably sultry torch singer who became known to baby boomers as Catwoman on Batman, was the source of some '60s era controversy for the show.  Kitt had appeared on the show eight times--the first the week of October 24, 1966, the same week Paul Lynde made his debut.  She was fairly pleasant and gracious during the taping of her ninth appearance, based on accounts and a couple of audio tape fragments I have from that week.   But unfortunately, something happened that changed everything.

Kitt taped the shows weeks before they aired.  Those pre-taped all-in-one-day schedules were still a fairly new practice in 1968, and many in the TV audience didn't understand it yet.  (Many shows still aired live, like
The Match Game, and a few were taped the day of broadcast, but Squares was already using the tape schedule nearly all game shows use now.)   But after the taping, Kitt appeared at a White House women's luncheon hosted by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, and used the occasion to launch into a withering attack on President Lyndon Johnson's Vietnam War policies.  The incident brought the first lady to tears and caused quite a bit of controversy.  After this incident, her week of shows aired (the week of July 8, 1968), setting off thousands of letters of protest and angry phone calls blasting NBC for allowing such a woman on their show.  Peter Marshall recalls in his book that one man even claimed he was heading to L.A. with a gun to kill him.  The man was stupid enough to leave his return address on the envelope and the FBI tracked him down with great ease.  Sadly, due to the controversy and pressure from NBC, the week of July 8, 1968, would be the last time Kitt ever appeared on the Marshall Squares.  Years later she would, however, turn up on the Bergeron version.    
Hail to the Squares

What's My Line? has the all-time distinction of featuring three future U.S. Presidents.  Ronald Reagan was both a mystery guest and a panelist; Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter were mystery guests.   The Hollywood Squares had no U.S. presidents in the grid but did have at least four Squares with Oval Office connections:

Margaret Truman (daughter of Harry S Truman)
Peter Lawford (brother-in-law of John F. Kennedy)
Susan Ford (daughter of Gerald Ford)
Billy Carter (brother of Jimmy Carter)
How a Peacock Almost Got Cooked

In 1976, NBC almost lost The Hollywood Squares...to a syndicator!  Variety and Broadcasting magazines reported Rhodes Productions, which distributed the nighttime Squares, put together a package and offered it to Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley.  That package would have run the show five days a week, before 5 p.m. weekdays so as not to conflict with the nighttime version.  They reportedly had commitments from 180 stations and "maybes" from 25 more.  Ultimately NBC was forced to shell out a record amount of money to keep the Squares in the family.  Interesting to ponder what might have been, since the show's downfall can be traced to The Price is Right and Donahue, and the show airing on one network limited its alternatives as far as time slots.